Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

Postby Too Fast For Comfort » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:50 am

I don't quite think that the sky is falling for Cedar Point yet. I think that Steel Vengeance will get very good word of mouth, and will hit its peak popularity 2-3 years from now. I think that a ride like this will take some time for the GP to come around to.

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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

Postby yawetag » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:49 am

coasterbill wrote:So 150 days per park x 12 seasonal parks is 1800 operating days. Add 365 for Knott's and we're at 2,165 total operating days chain wide. It's an estimate but it's probably making Cedar Fair look better than the real numbers. 1% of that is 21 to 22 operating days and Kings Dominion added (get ready for it) 25 operating days with Winterfest. There's your "growth" right there.


Winterfest weekends don't pull the same attendance that a typical summer weekend will. To say a 1% increase of operating days equates to 1% of attendance growth, when that 1% is a lower-than-normal attendance, would be incorrect. I can't speak for the other parks, but Carowinds lost many of their Winterfest days due to weather. Those would drive down their overall attendance, which would have been picked up on other days in the season.

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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

Postby Stealth1 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:17 am

Maybe this past year was a one off regarding attendance cause normally a new coaster brings attendance up. Weather wise at CP any time I went this year, which was a lot, was mostly hot and humid. Unless that keeps people away I can't see weather the reason atleast for CP.

If it does end uo being that coasters don't draw in the GP anymore. I would like to know what it is that people want from these parks.

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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

Postby coasterbill » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:25 am

yawetag wrote:Winterfest weekends don't pull the same attendance that a typical summer weekend will. To say a 1% increase of operating days equates to 1% of attendance growth, when that 1% is a lower-than-normal attendance, would be incorrect. I can't speak for the other parks, but Carowinds lost many of their Winterfest days due to weather. Those would drive down their overall attendance, which would have been picked up on other days in the season.


If you want to get technical let's not forget that I'm being overly generous by saying that the seasonal parks average 150 operating days. They don't... they're not even close. Cedar Point doesn't, Michigan's Adventure doesn't come close and Knott's Soak City and Cedar Point shores have even less operating days. I came up with a hilariously generous number so people wouldn't nitpick it. I wouldn't be surprised if the average is closer to 130. In that case, the numbers are even worse. Much worse.

Parks lose days for weather in the regular season too. It's probably true that *most* Winterfest days at Kings Dominion have slightly lower attendance than regular operating days but likely not by much and it probably still accounts for that extra 1%... especially when you consider how generous that 150 number is.

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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

Postby coasterbill » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:39 am

The cliff notes version is this:

They extended the operating season by a little more than 1% and attendance went up about 1% which would be expected had they done absolutely nothing in terms of Capex. In reality they added 3 RMCs, a "dive coaster", new festivals and events and tons of other expensive additions and offered crazy deals to get people into the parks from August onward... all of which accounted for basically nothing. You can nitpick the numbers to find a quarter of a percent here or there if that's your prerogative but these numbers suck.

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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

Postby grsupercity » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:44 am

coasterbill wrote:The cliff notes version is this:

They extended the operating season by a little more than 1% and attendance went up about 1% which would be expected had they done absolutely nothing in terms of Capex. In reality they added 3 RMCs, a "dive coaster", new festivals and events and tons of other expensive additions and offered crazy deals to get people into the parks from August onward... all of which accounted for basically nothing. You can nitpick the numbers to find a quarter of a percent here or there if that's your prerogative but these numbers suck.


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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

Postby DirkFunk » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:51 am

coasterbill wrote:The cliff notes version is this:

They extended the operating season by a little more than 1% and attendance went up about 1% which would be expected had they done absolutely nothing in terms of Capex. In reality they added 3 RMCs, a "dive coaster", new festivals and events and tons of other expensive additions and offered crazy deals to get people into the parks from August onward... all of which accounted for basically nothing. You can nitpick the numbers to find a quarter of a percent here or there if that's your prerogative but these numbers suck.


Bingo. All the general improvements we're lauding (and honestly most of them are really good) didn't have a net positive effect on the attendance or a huge increase in spend per person to make up for the lack of attendance increase.

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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

Postby coasterbill » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:55 am

Too Fast For Comfort wrote:I don't quite think that the sky is falling for Cedar Point yet.


My gut tells me that this isn't a Cedar-Fair-specific problem. The economy as a whole was up for a long time and over the last year it plateaued (and showed some volatility). SIX and FUN are highly cyclical. Cyclical companies follow the market and FUN is following the market.

The sky is not falling but they still probably expected their huge new additions to help them outpace the market a bit and they didn't.

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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

Postby DirkFunk » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:59 am

coasterbill wrote:
Too Fast For Comfort wrote:I don't quite think that the sky is falling for Cedar Point yet.


My gut tells me that this isn't a Cedar-Fair-specific problem. The economy as a whole was up for a long time and over the last year it plateaued (and showed some volatility). SIX and FUN are highly cyclical. Cyclical companies follow the market and FUN is following the market.

The sky is not falling but they still probably expected their huge new additions to help them outpace the market a bit and they didn't.


Six Flags only seeing an attendance increase of 5% while expanding Holiday in the Park and adding a bunch of new facilities is also a pretty bad sign for them park vs. park. I think that they've seen the slowing in attendance growth has led them to open the purse strings a little inf 2019 and we'll see what effect that has.

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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

Postby coasterbill » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:05 am

I completely agree on Six Flags. Six Flags is in a position now where it's impossible for us to know what the numbers actually mean (they know, but they won't tell us). Q1 and Q2 will be up no matter what because they've added tons of operating days (by acquiring new parks and making Fiesta Texas a year-round park) and in Q3 they'll have daily operation at a brand new waterpark. They'll probably be up all three quarters no matter what they do (especially Q2).

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